Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What to say to people when they pick on you

[UPDATE: Looking at the original Stylus magazine piece, it seems clearer that, yes, these emails were an amusing parody rather than the genuine article. Bah.]

An email from Alan C brings the leaked emails from The Kooks PR campaign to our attention.

That The Kooks hail from the same stage school set up as short-lived Aguilera/Strokes mashers Speedway is fairly well known, and the enthusiasm for the team charged with turning their mid-morning coffee-break toetappers into worldwide chart gold is actually almost a joy to behold, as they fire off an email seemingly every time the band so much as sell a couple of copies of their latest album. What is impressive, though, is the depth of thought that goes into the campaign behind the band's backs ("behind the scenes") to try and reposition them into something global.

Some extracts from the emails, apparently sent between staff in a "major UK record label":

The album has been on the UK chart almost 40 weeks now but looking at the data available the album has only got to 107 in France and only to 32 in New Zealand. If we are to make this act a workable long term investment I think we have to make international recognition our first priority, then focus on domestic consiladation then and set up the second album as an international breakthrough.


Getting them to agree its single release was a nightmare Luke [Pritchard lead singer of The Kooks] was very precious about it but I had to lay down the law with him, I told him that if they didn't have a radio hit they'd be going the way of [Black Rebel Motorcycle Club]. That shut him up.

His point that the production made it sound like Athlete before they sounded like Coldplay made me laugh.


One plus point: internationally I reckon no one is going to give a toss about them going to stage school or whether one of them shagged Katie Melua. We had to do a little damage control after that Amstell [Simon Amstell, UK Television Personality] prick took the piss on Popworld. I mean no one gives a fuck if spotty [Weekly UK Music Publication] readers think they don't write their own songs but it's important we keep a bit of serious artist credibility round them.


That aspirational indie vibe is pretty important when reeling the 25 - 35's in. I gave him [Pritchard] a bit of a hand with that piece in [Monthly UK Music Publication] about Bob Dylan.


I had another listen to the album on the way home yesterday there's some catchy songs on there aren't there? That Jackie Big Tits song is a laugh, we wouldn't have been able to get away with something like that 10 years ago with all that PC nonsense. I don't think we need to be quite so defensive on the PR front, the only people likely to give them a bad review are people like [Major Webzine] and the kind of geeks who read that crap don't even buy records anyway.

... whereas, of course, the sort of people seeking "the aspirational indie vibe" who need a ghost-written piece purporting to come from some sub-level Stanislavski student to make them think they might try listening to that Bob Dylan are really going to buy records by the shedload, aren't they?

Of course, there's always the possibility that we'll find out tomorrow this is as genuine as that Have I Got News For You Jimmy Saville rant. But there's just something about it all that rings true.


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